Alum Updates - January 2023

Updates from alumni.

Jerry Gildemeister | BS ‘55

My wife, Cathy, & I sold our home in La Grande, Oregon, a year ago, then endured 8 months of apartment living before finding a 55+ community home in Dallas, Oregon. So, it has been a busy year of moving and refurbishing/updating the new residence. The photography and design business has really slowed down the past year, but did manage to accommodate past clients with a new book production project as well as a sizable wall photo decor display project. Don’t know what will be forthcoming, but looking forward to a New Year with fewer trials and tribulations.

Jim Starkey | BS ‘89

I retired in January 2021 after a 20-year career with the USDA Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations.   I served on the NF’s in Alabama as a Patrol Captain, the Cherokee National Forest as a Special Agent, and ended my career as a Patrol Commander in the Southern Region supervising patrol enforcement operations on NFs in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. Prior to 2001, I served 11 years with the US Army Military Police as a Major. I am a full time grandpa with four grandchildren living in Montevallo, Alabama.

Steve McCollum | BS ‘71

I’m a 1971  graduate with a BS in Forestry. My father started Floral City Tree Service in 1950 after graduating in Forestry from MSU. I took over in 1980 and after 72 years, I sold the business to The Davey Tree Expert Company.

Nick Sanchez | BS ‘13

I am working as the Network Manager for the Old-Growth Forest Network and living in Chicago.

Marc Abrams | MS '79, PhD ‘82

Marc Abrams, professor of forest ecology and physiology and the Nancy and John Steimer Professor of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, retired at the end of June 2022 as one of the world’s leading forest ecologists.

Over his 35-year career in the College of Agricultural Sciences, he has published 175 referred journal articles, and the journal PLOS One ranked him as the fifth most cited forest ecologist worldwide.

Abrams received the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award presented by The Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists, announced at the sixth annual Fire in Eastern Oak Forests Conference. He has given more than 100 invited talks at scientific meetings and seminar series, including over 50 international talks in more than 30 countries.

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